TunnelRat's log -- working my way back to zero

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by TunnelRat2, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    I had one thing after another. I suppose variety is the spice of life, that is not what I had in mind. I couldn't even complain because my doctor friend had the same things I did!

    Box Squat 10x45, 5x95, 5x135, 3x3x185
    Bench 10x45, 5x65, 3x3x95
    Dumbbell Row 5x35, 3x3x50
    Chin/Dip 3x3xBW

    I wasn't real happy about my box squats. The box just didn't seem designed for someone my size. No matter how I set it up, it was either too high or too low. I went with 'too high'; I didn't want to have to struggle coming up out of a deep hole my first day back with squats.

    I was pleasantly sore from Monday's workout. DOMS were not too bad. Yet today I noticed how stiff I was -- especially doing chins. Even so, it's good to be back.
  2. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Thursday, March 16, 2012

    Deadlift 5x135, 3x185, 1x225, 3x3x235
    Bench 10x45, 5x65, 3x3x100
    Dumbbell Row 5x35, 3x3x55
    Chin/Dip 3x3xBW

    Whew, made it back after another long week off! I chose not to increment the weight on my chins and dips just yet, but I think I can start to do so soon. I bumped up the weight a smidgen on both bench and row. I began to do a repeat of last week's deads, but after only one lift I decided that I was well able to add a bit there, as well.
  3. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Thursday, March 22

    Deadlift 5x135, 3x185, 3x3x245
    Bench 10x45, 5x65, 3x3x105
    Dumbbell Row 5x40, 3x3x60
    Chin/Dip 3x3x (BW+5)

    Another week blew by. Where does the time go? Anyhow, I made it to the gym about 9pm and worked straight through.

    I had planned to do squats this time, but there was a young fellow doing deads, so I worked in with him. He wound up doing 4x315, 3x405, and 2x495 -- and that's just while I was there! He was still working on it when I left.

    I managed to increment all my weight by 5lbs except deads, which I incremented by 10 lbs. I'm going to have to work on my schedule to allow more frequent workouts.
  4. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Saturday, March 24, 2012

    Box Squat 10x45, 10x65, 5x95, 1x115, 1x135, 1x155, 3x3x185
    Bench 10x45, 5x65, 3x85, 3x3x110
    Dumbbell Row 5x25, 5x40, 3x3x65
    Chin/Dip 5xBW-70, 5xBW-30, 3x3xBW+10

    I tried using the lowest box arrangement for my squats today. Sometimes I'd just touch the box with my butt; more often I'd clang the bar on the safety bars instead. Last set I tried straddling the box to make sure I'd hit it; that didn't work well. I'll get it figured out yet.

    The whole workout, warmups and all, takes about 40 minutes. It's not so easy doing chins/dips in the same workout with bench/rows; I'm considering going to an A/B split. That would let me focus more on the major lifts and not have my bench limited by just having done dips, or my rows be limited by just having done chins. Besides, it would allow me time to work in some gingerbread lifts as the mood strikes. Mainly, it would leave me time to hit the treadmill so I can work off some of this extra blubber I've managed to accumulate.
  5. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Well, that took a little longer than I expected -- 42 days short of a year...

    But I made it into the gym today, still trying to get back to zero. My doctor advises me to take it slowly, but then again, he always says that.

    Squat: 12x45, 5x95, 5x115, 5x135, 3x155, 3x185
    Chins: 3x5 BW-30
    Dips: 3x5 BW -30

    Then I walked for 30 minutes

    Currrent body weight: 144 lbs.
  6. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Deadlift: 12x45, 10x135, 2x5x185, 3x225
    Bench press: 12x45, 10x65, 5x85
    Dumbbell row: 5x30, 2x5x35

    Back at it again. My short term goal was to make it back into the gym. I was shooting for Wednesday, but made it today. Everything is still very light (though it didn't always seem that way).

    Just a few deads, just a few bench presses, dumbbell rows with weeny weights -- I'm trying to go slowly. I'm still recovering from Monday's DOMS.

    Afterwards I walked and ran for 20 minutes: 60 seconds running; 90 seconds walking.
  7. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    It is good to see you back yet again though. Hope you stick around this time.
  8. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Great to hear from our resident laconic lifter again! (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ) All the best to you TR!
  9. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    I've been away for a while (nothing unusual there...), dealing with PTSD, a few injuries, and taking care of my mother's last days. She made it nearly to 101 years-old! She missed it by only four months. That's too old; I have no doubt she is much more comfortable now.

    I've been back in the gym for a few months now. Here's hoping I'll be able to keep it up.

    Week March 24-28
    Squat/Deads 3x3x185
    Bench 3x5x70
    Row 3x5x40
    Chin/Dip 3x5x(BW-30)

    Week March 31-April 4
    Squat/Deads 3x3x195
    Bench 3x5x75
    Row 3x5x45
    Chin/Dip 3x5x(BW-25)

    Week April 7
    Monday only (dental emergency)
    Squat 3x3x205
    Deads 3x3x215
    Bench 3x5x80
    Row 3x5x50
    Chin/Dip 3x5x(BW-20)

    I was surprised by how challenging the 205 lb squat was. It took a great deal of effort for what I consider to be little more than a warm-up weight. It was difficult and discouraging.

    I think I started a bit too heavy on my squats. I'd been bothered in the past that my deads and squats maxes were so far apart, so I tried boosting my squats a bit and limiting my deads in an effort to keep them the same. That was a mistake. So today I began to increment my deadlift a bit more than my squat.

    I had to take off Wednesday and Friday with a dental issue.

    Week April 14-18
    Squat 3x3x205
    Deads 3x3x225
    Bench 3x5x80
    Row 3x5x60
    Chin/Dip 3x5x(BW-15)

    Whoo hooo! I made it a whole month!
    I admitted to myself that I'm getting old (and that I've been away from the gym for too long). Thus, I wore a belt for my squats; it made all the difference in the world!

    The 60 lb row is really pretty heavy. I can do it with full range of motion, but it is challenging. I do not intend to increase the weight next week.
    The flat bench was busy on Friday, so I attempted an incline bench with 80 lbs. It was too much for me. Instead of sets of five, I settled for sets of three (and got a spotter for the third set).

    I am nearly at Body Weight on my chins and dips (Friday I went to BW-10). The wuss-assist device no longer offers very much help. For next week I plan to begin the Soviet Squat Routine (Are Chin-Ups the Best Exercise for Lat Development? - Think Muscle) for my chin/dips, rather than continuing with 3x5s.
    Are Chin-Ups the Best Exercise for Lat Developmen...

    Q: My favorite author said in a magazine that chin-ups were the best lat exercise, hands down. Do you think this is true,?

    Week of April 21-25

    Alas old age has crept up on me. Even with the weeny weights I've been using, my body is starting to complain. I have a pain on the inner side of my left knee and soreness in my left ankle.

    Thus I shall take a deload week.

    I plan to hit the gym only Tuesday and Thursday, with significantly less weight. Further, I've gotten rid of my puffy, running shoes and switched to my flat-bottom, wrestling Asics. This should hold me until next week, when I plan to resume my progression.

    Tuesday, April 22
    Squat 3x3x185
    Deads 1x3x205, 1x3x225, 2x3x205
    Bench 3x5x75
    Row 3x5x50
    Chin/Dip 6x2

    Thursday, April 24

    Squat 3x3x185
    Deads 1x3x205, 1x3x225, 1x1x245
    Bench 3x5x70
    Row 3x5x50
    Chin/Dip 3x5x(BW-30)

    Whoops! I had intended to do a triple at 245, then finish two more sets of three at 205. However, after only one, fairly easy rep, something gave way in my buttocks.

    I don't know if I pulled something or tore something or strained something; I'm not all that knowledgeable about sports injuries. But it was bad enough that I couldn't make myself pick up the bar a second time.

    As I was considering what to do, and how to finish my workout, a younger and wiser soul suggested that I quit while I was ahead and put some ice on it. This is one of the guys who does some heavy squats and deads, so I listened to him. I went and stood in a cold shower for a bit, then came home. I'll see my doctor this evening, but I'll likely back off a bit.

    Week April 28-May 3
    Thursday only

    The good doctor told me what happened sounded like a simple muscle spasm--no big deal. There was no pain the next day, not even DOMS. I took a whole week off just to make sure, then hit the gym today. I also made a point of warming up a lot more than I had been. I even wore a belt as a sort of concession to old age.

    Squat 10x45, 5x95, 3x135, 3x185, 3x205, 2x3x185
    Deads 10x135, 5x185, 3x225, 3x245, 2x3x225
    Bench 3x5x75
    Row 3x5x55
    Chin/Dip 3x5x(BW-10)

    I felt pretty good afterwards. Time was about 1 hr and 20 minutes. I plan to only do Tuesday and Thursday next week. I may not up the weights just yet. "Start too light and progress slowly": Wendler sounds like my doctor...

    Tuesday, May 6

    Squat 10x45, 5x95, 3x135, 3x185, 3x205, 3x225, 2x3x205
    Deads 10x135, 5x185, 3x225, 3x245, 2x3x225
    Bench 3x5x80
    Row 3x5x55
    Chin/Dip 6x2

    Friday, May 9

    Busy on Thursday, so made it up today.

    Squat 10x45, 5x95, 3x135, 3x185, 3x205, 3x225, 2x3x205
    Deads 10x135, 5x185, 3x225, 3x245, 2x3x225
    Bench 3x5x80
    Row 3x5x55
    Chin/Dip 6x3

    I plan to increase both squats and deads by 10 lbs next week. I find that my shoulders are doing the most complaining, so I'll keep bench and row the same.

    week of May 12-16

    Monday, May 12

    Squat 10x45, 5x95, 3x135, 3x185, 3x205, 3x215, 3x235, 2x3x215
    Deads 10x135, 3x185, 3x235, 3x255, 2x3x235
    Bench 3x3x85
    Row 3x5x60
    Chin/Dip 6x2

    I increased the squats and deads by 10 lbs each, and the bench and rows by 5 lbs. I went from three sets of five on bench to three sets of three (and it was hard). Row was surprisingly easy, so I did three sets of five.

    Wednesday, May 14

    Squat 5x135, 3x185, 3x215, 3x235, 2x3x215
    Deads 10x135, 3x185, 2x3x235, 3x255, 2x3x235
    Bench 3x3x85
    Row 3x5x60
    Chin/Dip 6x4

    The power rack was busy today, so I did my deads first. I forgot to up the second set by 20 lbs, as I like to do, so I did that after the second set. Then I guess I lost count until just now as I sat down to type--I did two more sets at my prescribed work weight, making a total of four work sets of 235 lbs (oops).

    I had finished up all my deads, chins, dips, benches, and rows before I was even able to start my squats. I figured I was plenty warmed up, and didn't want to tire myself out further at the end of a long workout, so I skipped the warm up with the lighter weights and started out at 135 lbs. The 185 lb triple was more difficult than the sets of 215 lbs. I attribute that to wearing a belt for all lifts over 200 lbs.

    My chin/dip workout had me scheduled for 6x4 today. I confess I was a bit apprehensive, but I got them done (though I had to stick my chin up a bit on the very last set of 4).

    I came home feeling pleasantly beaten up.

    Tuesday, May 27

    Squat 10x95, 5x135, 3x185, 3x205, 3x215, 3x3x225
    Deads 10x135, 5x185, 3x225, 3x3x245
    Bench 3x5x70
    Row 3x5x55
    Chin/Dip 6x2

    Okay, I just took two weeks off. During one of my deadlifts earlier this month, I had managed to hurt myself a little bit. I had a painful twinge in my left buttock (insert appropriate Forrest Gump quote here). I spoke to my doctor about it on two occasions; he didn't seem bothered about it at all, even though it has been consistently painful for me. Just to be safe I took the two weeks off. Today, when I was lifting, it hurt a little bit, but the weights went up just fine.

    I backed off the weight a little bit on my bench and rows. It is not so much that I find the bar heavy, but rather that it hurts my shoulders when I press the bar up. The worst part is that it is not my bad shoulder that hurts, but the other, supposedly "good" shoulder that is giving me grief.

    I upped the work set weight by ten lbs for both squats and deads. The bar seemed to come up just fine. I'll plan to repeat this workout on Thursday, then make a decision on how to proceed.

    Here's hoping I can be faithful to keep this up. It looks to be a busy summer, so I'll have lots of excuses...
  10. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Thursday, May 29

    Squat 10x45, 10x95, 5x135, 3x185, 3x205, 3x225, 3x245, 2x3x225
    Deads 10x135, 5x185, 3x225, 3x245, 3x265, 2x3x245
    Bench 5x3x80
    Row 5x3x60
    Chin/Dip 6x5

    The 245 lb squat triple matches my personal best triple done December 13, 2010. I feel pretty good about that. I am content with the 265 lb deadlift triple, too. Deads are starting to get a little heavy.

    I switched my benches and rows from three sets of five to five sets of three. My problem hasn't been in lifting the weights, but rather that my shoulders hurt when I do. I figured I'd give triples a try there, as well.

    I was apprehensive about doing 6x5 chin/dips today. However, I've been [roughly] following the Soviet Squat schedule for my chins. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to complete them.
  11. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Outstanding squat triples, TR!

    For your benching - explain your form, if you would. I'm thinking a quick tweak may really help your shoulders, and it would transfer to your rows.

    Glad to see you progressing like you are!
  12. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    I dunno about form. I try to squeeze my shoulders together under me and keep them tight on the bench while I'm pressing. My hands are not too wide--thumbs on the edge of the knurling. My wrists are perhaps not as straight as Rippetoe would like: I let the bar sort of rest on my palms rather than on my thumbs (but yeah--thumbs wrapped around the bar). On the eccentric I bring the bar down to touch my chest, roughly around the solar plexus area. On the lift I aim for a spot on the ceiling. My elbows seem neither too tight nor too wide. My legs don't enter in much to my bench press, as my legs are too short to get much of a purchase on the floor.

    I'm afraid the problem may be arthritis creeping into my joints. I'm going to be 69 years-0ld if I make it another couple of weeks. A life of hard living tends to catch up with you after a while...
  13. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    TR, it's really good to see you back here posting again. Sounds like you have had plenty to deal with. I certainly hope that life will be kind to you for a while at least and that you are able to spend some time taking care of yourself.
    And on that note, I have a few questions: Why are you getting back into training by starting off with relatively heavy loads? (You may call them "weeny" but it's all relative.) I'm guessing you have a specific reason for doing this but I can't think what it might be?
    Perhaps the reason why you experienced some potential glute/groin strain was down to hitting heavy loads before your body had had a chance to readapt. It seems that this takes longer as we get older. If you are not already doing so, I reckon that a good program of stretching and mobility work would be good to do on days when you are not in the gym.
    I wonder whether a couple of weeks of 15s followed by a couple of weeks of 10s would have helped ease you back in to training? It would be interesting to know if some weeks of higher reps would help your joints a little too?

    Re your chin-ups Q: I don't think it's possible to make a sweeping statement like that. Chin-ups are certainly great but so are rowing movements. Many muscles are involved in chinning. Different people perform the movement differently, so for any individual you would need to test for lat activation (some kind of EMG activity test) to see how effective the movement was in hitting the lats in their case. But, without going to all that trouble, we know chins and rows do generally work our lats hard because we get sore lats when we train those movements with loads we are not conditioned to.
    Back in the day, Arthur Jones tested just about every way to "optimally" stress the body's musculature. For lats he developed his Nautilus pullover machine with all its fancy cams that varied the loading to remove "sticking points" and provided a full ROM for the lats. I'm sure it could be argued that that machine was as good as it gets for lat development; but does it really work any better than a chin/row combo of free-weight movements? Don't think so.
    Personally, I feel that having both rowing and chinning-type movements in a program is necessary for full lat development (and, of course, the many other muscles of the back).

    All the best with your training. Hope you can stay away from as many annoying niggles as possible. Hope you are glugging down the fish oil. :)
    nativetroutbum likes this.
  14. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    It quite possibly could be arthritis - but on the off chance it's just an alignment issue, it's maybe worth exploring a few slight tweaks. First - your hands. If the knurling on your bars is consistent with those I'm familiar with, I think that's a great place to start. Try moving your fingers out a bit - first such that y0ur index fingers are flush on the knurling, then with the knurling between your index and middle fingers. Try moving your hands out by the "in between finger - finger" increments and se if that helps. I usually train with my middle or index finger on the knurling.

    Next - foot placement. This may sound silly, but I read a bit ago that the bench press is not just an upper-body movement. It's a whole body movement - and having considered that, the lift changed for me. If you are pulling your shoulders together and getting at least a little arch in your back and keeping it throughout the eccentric and concentric parts of the movement - AND your feet are square beneath you and essentially you're pressing with the support of your whole body, that may make a big difference. The sole difference in form from the above is re-racking the bar; if you don't have a spotter, it's easier and less stress on your shoulders if you are flat on your back, and essentially push the weight back to the pegs - again with your feet flat and your lower body assisting as the weight transitions. This is very hard to explain (apologies) but the first time you experience it, you'll know what I mean.

    Regardless - good luck!
    nativetroutbum likes this.
  15. Dang, TR, your training and drive to improve @ 69 yrs old!!! is impressive and motivating. I hope to have at least 1/2 of that drive if I am fortunate enough to live that long.
  16. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Tuesday, June 10

    Squat 10x95, 5x135, 3x185, 3x3x215
    Deads 10x135, 5x185, 3x225
    Bench 3x5x80
    Row 3x5x55
    Chin/Dip 6x2

    I've been away for a while; I had to be out of town. An unscheduled SD, so to speak, thus I backed off the weight a bit.

    Thank you, _tim, I tried moving my hands a little on my bench press, as suggested. I found it to be much less painful. Thanks.

    In answer to Lol's query, I'm attempting to get my lifts up so that I can begin a weight-loss program. I've picked up some fat over the last year or so and would like to lose as much as 20 lbs. I'd like to be able to lift heavy enough that I don't lose any more muscle than I have to.

    Actually, I thought I was progressing the weight fairly slowly. It's hard not to want to get past what I used to consider as "warm-up" weights...

    I'm still struggling with PTSD and depression, so it's hard to get myself up and out and to the gym. But the last few months have been pretty good.

    The forum address got changed. I couldn't find you guys!
  17. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Drat, out once again. I've been having numbness in knees and toes for several months. Doctor finally got me in for an MRI. Apparently I have some sort of arthritis in my spine. Doc are considering surgery. So I'm out of the gym until things get sorted.

    I seem to spend large chunks of my life trying to get back to zero...
  18. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Very sorry to hear this, TR. I do hope the docs look after you well. I know that you are a fighter and that you will be back from this. All the very best from me.

Share This Page